5 Awesome Things To Do Before You Leave Senegal

Located in Western Africa, Senegal is rising in popularity for tourists to visit. But before you pack your bags, you’ll want to do some research of all the things you want to check off your must-do list that are unique to the country. We’ve narrowed down five awesome things you need to do on your next visit.

See the birds at Djoudj

Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary is one of the top places in Senegal and people come here for a good reason. The park is jam-packed with up to 400 species of birds including herons, spoonbills, pelicans and pink flamingos. It’s common to see a “sea of pink” since the birds cover a large portion of the water, making it an incredible sight to see. In addition to the birds, guests will also get a glimpse of other wildlife like crocodiles, warthogs, African manatees and African cows in the area.

See Africa’s tallest statue

Rio de Janiero is well known for its giant statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking its city. Senegal’s largest city, Dakar is famous for an incredibly large monument of a woman and a man holding a child pointing towards a hopeful future. The African Renaissance Monument stands at 160 feet tall , dwarfing visitors into bug-size specks standing next to the statue and is made of bronze. The statue commemorates Senegal’s independence from France and cost the country a whopping $27 million to build. This brought on a lot of criticism by native Senegalese and people around the globe because the country is already facing its own economical crisis. But regardless of which side of the table you’re on, you should still see in person.

Visit Lake Retba (Lac Rose)

If Mars had a lake, we suspect it’d look a lot like Lake Retba right in Cape Vert Peninsula in the heart of Senegal (and only one hour away by car from Dakar). The one square mile wide lake receives its attention for (you guessed it) its incredible pinkish hue that’ll make you question you’re not sailing on a lake of grapefruit juice. The lake earned its extraordinary colors due to its high salinity and algae that produces the pink pigment. The best time to see the strongest shades of pink is during its dry season (November to June). Keep your eyes peeled for locals waddling knee deep in the water covered in shea butter to protect their skin and collecting salt. Some visitors have report seeing the most extreme colors when the lake turns blood red instead of its normal shade of pink.

Go on Senegal’s own safari adventures

Senegal isn’t the top destination to go on a safari trip but it does have its own safari-like park. Niokolo Koba National Park is rich in green scenery and full of wildlife grazing near the Gambia River. Expect to find a wide range of animals like crocodiles, antelopes, hippos, western giant elands, elephants, lions, chimpanzees and more. Keep on the lookout for the incredibly rare African leopard and African wild dogs that are known to inhabit this 3,500 square mile park. The park is full of variety of landscapes from savannas, to forest, to wetlands to grasslands. It’s advised to stay a night or two to explore many corners of the park.

Explore Goree Island

Goree Island (also known as the Isle of Goree) is a short distance from Dakar that was sadly a prominent trading post for slaves. But despite its harrowing past, Goree Island is becoming a popular hub for tourists to take in the ocean view and visit a local museum to learn all about the history of the island. The House of Slaves is a museum in a building built in the 1780s and is believed to be the largest slave trade post documented in all of Africa. Today, tourists can explore the walls to visit the quarters and view other architectural sites that are still standing on the island.

More from AFKTravel:

Why You Should Visit Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary In Senegal

Destination Dakar: A Guide To Getting Around Senegal’s Capital

10 Reasons Saint Louis, Senegal Should Be On Your Bucket List


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